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Zynga Q&A: Gambling, Facebook, Sinking Share Price (Update 1)

Stocks in this article: ZNGA FB GOOG

Updated from 10:14 a.m. EST to provide correction on Mike Gupta's title and clarification of comment regarding sharing on the second page.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Zynga's (ZNGA) headquarters are nothing short of amazing, with lights all over, a variety of video games as far as the eye can see, and engineers all working on the latest from the San Francisco-based social gaming company.

I recently had a chance to sit down with Mike Gupta, Zynga's Vice President Finance and Treasurer, to discuss a wide array of initiatives, including gambling, the company's relationship with Facebook (FB), console gaming, and Zynga's sinking share price.

Chris Ciaccia: What's Zynga's future as it relates to online gambling? Is that something the company is exploring?

Mike Gupta: It is something we're exploring. We think it's an interesting adjacency to what we do in our core business. We also think we have an interesting asset in Zynga Poker, which is the world's largest online game, with over 30 million monthly average users, or players. We think we have an interesting asset, we are exploring the space, but at this time, we don't have anything specific to announce.

Ciaccia: If that online gambling is something that does happen, and the federal government does regulate online gambling, are there any potential partners that Zynga would work with? Whether it be a casino operator or an online betting company?

Gupta: We're talking to a variety of folks within the industry, and again, I think, given our asset, we're uniquely positioned. I think ultimately who we partner with will be somewhat driven by how the legislation gets written and what's required, so stay tuned.

Ciaccia: Facebook generates 12% of its revenue from Zynga, as stated in their S-1. Obviously the relationship between Facebook and Zynga is very complex, and it's a major one for both partners. What kind of plans does Zynga have outside of the platform to diversify away from Facebook?

Gupta: Facebook, great partner, it's a strong partnership that we have with them. As they disclosed in their prospectus, there's roughly 900 million MAU's (monthly average users). It's a great platform on which Zynga can operate. Our goal is always to be where the users are, where the players are. Having said that, we have thought about it and are thinking about other platforms. The beauty of our games is that we have the ability to go across different platforms. We've done that with Google (GOOG) Plus, we've done that with Tencent. Today, we announced Draw Something will be on Sina (SINA) Weibo, which is a local network there which will allow folks to connect off of Facebook in China, so we think that's a great thing. And mobile, is another big play, which allows us to diversify off Facebook.

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